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Dialogue: Stilted/Slang

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gail.talbot

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Writing a PB for children aged 3-to-6. I'm torn between using realistic dialogue (like slang; great for the tone of the story) and slightly more stilted dialogue (not as great for the story, but better for early readers). I'm curious if anyone here has come across having to make this decision, and where you tend to lean...generally, of course. Thanks!
#1 - February 13, 2014, 12:09 PM

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I would go with realistic dialogue. Especially with a picture book (which will be read TO them). Natural dialogue is what they're used to hearing, after all--not stilted speech. (I'd avoid short-term slang, though--you want more than one year's' worth of kids to be able to read and enjoy your book and not have it feel dated!)
#2 - February 13, 2014, 02:49 PM

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Here's another vote for realistic dialogue, though not heavy on the slang.  If it were an actual early reader, then sure, a different approach is required, but realistic dialogue in a pb will help your story come alive.
#3 - February 13, 2014, 03:40 PM
Twitter: @CLMwriter
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I would use whatever suits the character or the story.

Examples: a kid trying to be ?cool? may use slang; friends may use mutually-understood nicknames for things; a child trying to impress grownups may try out some newly-learned vocabulary.

However, as a default, I would have whatever sounds natural: causal, but not quite stream of consciousness.
#4 - June 23, 2014, 12:58 AM

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